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Jewish Elders and Korean Pop – Why Does it Work so Well?

May 31, 2013 – 9:37 amNo Comment

By Anthony Frosh
You might have already seen this video. After all, it has already been shared on social media a fair bit, and received a very positive reception.

On the surface, it might not sound that impressive. You can imagine the pitch for the video:

We’re going to take a laptop and play the music video of a Korean pop song that has reached such heights of popularity that it has arguably become almost insanely irritating to those with a more sophisticated taste in music. We’re then going to show that music video to residents of a Jewish aged care facility, and ask them for their review! 

On the above description, it’s probably not sound like the kind of thing one might be hanging out to see.

K-pop star, Psy, going Gangnam Style

K-pop star, Psy, going Gangnam Style

And yet it works so well!  But why is it so engaging?

Obviously, a major part of it is that you have people encountering a stimulus that comes from such a different world to the one from where they have their foundations. But there’s more than that. The elderly do not have much of a voice in our society (and certainly not a multitude of voices). The result is that they are routinely de-individualised.

This video, produced by Jewish Care, re-individualises our elders, and in a fabulously entertaining way.

I’ll be honest. Over the years, as I have made regular (although arguably not as regular as they ought to have been) visits to aged care facilities to visit relatives, I have been guilty in my mind of de-individualising the residents.  Perhaps it is a coping mechanism that avoids me thinking too much about how, in all likelihood, I will one day reach an age where I will be reliant on vital aged care services.

For me, the stars of this video, our elders, have not only provided engaging entertainment, but also provided a timely reminder on the need to respect our elders not only as a group, but also as individual personalities.

Oh, and now, the next time I hear Gangnam Style played as part of some exploit far less worthwhile than the above video, I will hopefully be a lot less irritated.

Disclosure: Jewish Care, the producer of the above video, is also a sponsor of Galus Australis.

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